January 18, 2017

Twice As Many Women Experience Depression Versus Men

depressed woman

Depression is the leading cause of disability for people between 15-44 years of age. Twice as many women experience depression versus men. Depression affects 8% to 16% of reproductive age women in the United States. Infertility is a major risk factor for depression.

Antidepressants may reduce the probability of a women with a history of depression to conceive naturally. A class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) is the most frequently prescribed for depression. The most commonly used antidepressant of this class is Sertraline whose brand name is Zoloft. Increasing evidence suggests that the use of SSRIs during the first trimester of pregnancy is associated with major congenital malformations. SSRI use in pregnancy may also lead to pulmonary hypertension in newborns.

Further studies are needed to differentiate the degree to which this association is due to the antidepressant itself or to the underlying depression. A lifetime history of major depression may be associated with an early decline in ovarian function.

A common question we receive is if antidepressants cause miscarriage? Please see our blog discussing a Denmark study focused on over one million women who took antidepressants early in pregnancy.

If you have questions on your fertility, please contact us. We are here for you!

Tags: , , , ,
Joseph A. Hill, III, M.D.

Joseph A. Hill, III, M.D. Board-Certified in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility